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Ed Tracht and
Margaret Colonette Armstong Tracht

Water Works Wonders
A History of the White, Wilson, McMahon,
River Junction School Districts
Page 447
by Roxie Stark

Ed Tracht was born in 1887 in Galion, Ohio. He left there in March of 1909 for Lethbridge, Alberta. After his first job in New Dayton, he went to Wilson Siding where he bought his first farm east of the siding. A couple years later he sold this land to John Wurtz, the leader of the Wilson Siding Hutterite Colony. It was the first colony in the area.

In 1915, Ed married Margaret Colonette Armstrong, who was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1886. Margaret (who later became known as Net) received her name from family friend Alexander Muir who wrote "fhe Maple Leaf Forever". She moved to Lethbridge with her mother, three brothers, and three sisters, after her father was killed in an accident at Niagara Falls. Margaret (Net) was a telephone operator in Lethbridge and active in the Knox Presbyterian Church.

While Ed & Net lived in the Wilson Siding District, a daughter was born in 1917 in the Van Harlem Hospital in Lethbridge. Two years later, in 1919, their second daughter was born at the family home in Innisfail. After being away from the Wilson Siding community for several years, the family of four returned to a farm to the south of the Hutterite Colony, the site of their original farm.

After returning to the area, we girls attended school first at Allenby, the Hutterite School, and later at the one room Wilson Siding School where we also attended Sunday School. We have fond memories of the weekend dances we attended as teenagers at White School.

During the summer, I would often work alongside my father in the fields, driving tractor or hauling wheat to one of the three area elevators, while my sister helped in the house. Saturdays usually began with the 15 mile trip to Lethbridge. We went in the family 1938 Oldsmobile for groceries at Safeways and then on to Eatons, followed by the mid-day meal at the White Lunch Cafe, then a movie at the Capitol Theater.

As young adults, we moved to Calgary. Our parents continued on the farm. We made regular trips to visit them until 1942 when they moved to Albany, Oregon. There they continued

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Copyright 2000
Mary Tollestrup